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Guide on consent for schools

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material for teaching consent, schools, EVAW, Rape Crisis‘What good teaching and school practice looks like’.

The End Violence Against Women Coalition (EVAW) and Rape Crisis South London have published new materials for schools on tackling violence against women and girls, and teaching about sexual consent.

The End Violence Against Women Coalition’s guide is designed for school leaders and sets out the different forms of abuse and warning signs to look for, what good teaching in this area looks like, and how to get your whole school working towards ending abuse.

Rape Crisis South London‘s ‘Give’n’Get’ teaching resource – ‘Give and Get Consent A resource for teaching sexual consent to Key Stages 3 & 4’ – uses a series of short films to go in-depth over five inter-linked lessons to build young people’s understanding of sexual consent.

The material has been made available as young people and teachers settle into the new school year – and is free to download.

It was published after a BBC Freedom of Information investigation recently revealed that the police record on average 200 rapes and around 1,800 sexual assaults in schools every year, and as children’s charities published a new report showing that children with learning disabilities are subject to high levels of sexual exploitation, but receive little education on abuse, nor support or protection when they are at risk.

Sarah Green, acting director of the End Violence Against Women Coalition, said: “We have produced this new guide for school leaders because we know that many feel they need more support on ensuring there is good staff level understanding of different forms of abuse and the warning signs, and on what good teaching and school practice looks like.

“The production of these guides by voluntary agencies is a reminder that the lack of statutory status for Sex and Relationships Education in our schools creates a huge hole in certainty about addressing critical safety and equality issues with young people.”

Noting that the Business Secretary Sajid Javid recently made a new high level commitment to address violence against women in the UK’s universities, she added: “We hope the same recognition and intent will be brought to schools soon.”

Dr Fiona Vera Gray, from Rape Crisis South London and one of the authors of the ‘Give’n’Get’ teaching resource, said: “Research published by the Children’s Commissioner on young people’s understanding of sexual consent showed that while many understand consent in the abstract, when presented with real life scenarios they often lose their way and can resort to blaming survivors and making excuses for perpetrators of rape.

“This resource includes short films presenting these scenarios and accompanying lesson plans for exploring what consent means.

“It is free and we hope it will be used widely.”

The 13-page guide has three parts.

The first includes definitions, prevalence rates, warning signs and links on all forms of abuse of women and girls (including domestic and sexual violence, child sexual exploitation, forced marriage, so-called ‘honour’-based violence, online abuse, sexual harassment and stalking).

The second looks at ‘Gold Standard Sex and Relationships Education’ principles.

The third sets out what a ‘whole school approach’ to tackling abuse looks like – high level leadership, teacher training, parental involvement, making links with local support services, and sex and relationship education (SRE).

The first part, available separately as a Factsheet, was initially published at the end of 2014 and was at the time endorsed by Secretary of State Nicky Morgan who said, “As both Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women I am wholly committed to tackling violence against women and girls.

“Recent events have brought into sharp focus the crucial importance of teaching young people to understand the abuse women and girls can face and where they can get support.

“Ensuring young people receive good quality relationship education which teaches the importance of respect and mutual consent should be at the heart of this and the new factsheet from the End Violence Against Women Coalition helps to highlight the importance of this issue to teachers.”

To see the EVAW guide click here and the Rape Crisis teaching resource here.

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